Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Bud Coleman

Second Advisor

Rebecca Brown Adelman

Third Advisor

Kevin Rich

Abstract

This thesis investigates the form and implementation of the Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s Shakespeare & Violence Prevention Program by analyzing four program visits at four elementary schools in the Boulder Valley School District in the fall of 2016. The Colorado Shakespeare Festival (CSF) developed this program with the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence at the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2011. The program was developed in response to the increasing awareness and recent development of bullying prevention programming in the U.S. CSF simultaneously seeks to raise awareness regarding violence at school, introduce the intervention tool Safe2Tell, and hopes to nurture a love for theatre and Shakespeare through its creative program model. The four case studies lie at the center of this research, which includes four performances of the touring production of CSF’s adaption of The Taming of the Shrew and the corresponding bullying prevention workshops. The model is analyzed within the framework of recognized Applied Theatre practices. The model is also compared to two other regional theatre-based bullying prevention programs – Choose Your Life by Arts Integrated Resources and “Your Voice Matters” by Mirror Image Arts – to gain insight into the CSF’s program placement within the regional context and distinguish the specific needs it serves within its target communities. The results of the study indicate that the program features a strong performance piece, but several elements of the applied theatre based workshop require further refining to become more inclusive, engage students actively and holistically, as well as meet the goal of disseminating pertinent bullying prevention material through the desired embodied practice. The thesis concludes with specific recommendations to strengthen the existing program and a need for further study to measure impact and efficacy of the program model.

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